Summary: A new study reports your genes may determine how your heart rate and blood pressure respond to exercise.
Source: The Physiological Society.
Your genes can determine how your heart rate and blood pressure respond to exercise – and may act as an early warning of future problems with your heart or blood vessels – according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.
When people exercise, their heart rate and blood pressure increase. However, the magnitude of this increase is different for different people. Previous research has shown that abnormally large increases in blood pressure during exercise makes it more likely that people will suffer from future high blood pressure. Therefore understanding why people react differently to exercise is important as this can help to identify risk factors and enable early monitoring or treatment of individuals at risk.
Until now it has not been known why the response to exercise varies between different people. This new research has found that genetic differences in receptors found in skeletal muscles can contribute to this different response. Receptors are groups of specialised cells that detect changes in the environment and cause some kind of response. The scientists identified that the presence of two common genetic mutations in receptors found in skeletal muscle led to higher blood pressure during exercise compared to people who did not have them, particularly in men.
The research conducted by the University of Guelph (Canada), involved measuring heart rate and blood pressure of 200 healthy young men and women before and during a handgrip exercise, plus analysing their DNA for genetic risk factors.
While the study is limited by the sample size and the specific type of exercise used, the effect of these genetic variants in the skeletal muscle receptors was significant. Further work will be needed to look at other types of exercise and to replicate this finding.
Philip J. Millar, corresponding author of the study commented on the findings of the results ‘This research suggests the presence of these receptors can contribute to larger blood pressure responses during exercise – a risk factor for future problems with the heart or blood vessels. It is important to examine why we saw this difference mainly in men, and to understand the specific mechanisms behind how these genetic variants influence their heart rate and blood pressure responses to exercise.’
Source: Andrew Mackenzie – The Physiological Society
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Original Research: Abstract for “TRPV1 and BDKRB2 receptor polymorphisms can influence the exercise pressor reflex” by Karambir Notay, Shannon L. Klingel, Jordan B. Lee, Connor J. Doherty, Jeremy D. Seed, Michal Swiatczak, David M. Mutch, and Philip J. Millar in The Journal of Physiology. Published September 11 2018.
TRPV1 and BDKRB2 receptor polymorphisms can influence the exercise pressor reflex
Exercise blood pressure (BP) responses demonstrate high inter‐individual variability, which could relate to differences in metabolically‐sensitive afferent feedback from the exercising muscle. We hypothesized that single‐nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding for metaboreceptors present in group III/IV skeletal muscle afferents can influence the exercise pressor response. Two hundred men and women underwent measurements of continuous BP and heart rate at baseline and during 2‐min of static handgrip exercise (30% maximal volitional contraction), post‐exercise circulatory occlusion, and mental stress (serial subtraction; internal control). Participants were genotyped for SNPs in TRPV1 (rs222747; G/C), ASIC3 (rs2288645; G/A), BDKRB2 (rs1799722; C/T), PTGER2 (rs17197; A/G), and P2RX4 (rs25644; A/G). Exercise systolic BP (19 ± 10 vs. 22 ± 10 mmHg, p = 0.03) was lower in GG versus GC/CC minor allele carriers for TRPV1 rs222747, while exercise diastolic BP (14 ± 7 vs. 17 ± 7 mmHg, p = 0.007) and heart rate (12 ± 8 vs. 15 ± 9 beats/min, p = 0.03) were lower in CC versus CT/TT minor allele carriers for BDKRB2 rs1799722. Individuals carrying both minor alleles for TRPV1 rs222747 and BDKRB2 rs1799722 had greater systolic (22 ± 11 vs. 17 ± 10 mmHg, p = 0.04) and diastolic (18 ± 7 vs. 14 ± 7 mmHg, p = 0.01) BP responses than those with no minor alleles; these differences were larger in men. No differences in BP or heart rate responses were detected during static handgrip with ASIC3 rs2288645, PTGER2 rs17197, or P2RX4 rs25644; none of the selected SNPs were associated with differences during mental stress. These findings demonstrate that variants in TRPV1 and BDKRB2 receptors can contribute to BP differences during static exercise in an additive manner.